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European Shares Inch Up In Cautious Trade

marketopen 011519 25jun20 lt

European shares inched higher on Thursday after a survey showed consumer confidence in Germany has improved more than expected.

The forward-looking consumer sentiment index rose to -9.6 in July from revised -18.6 in June reflecting the rapid reopening of the economy after coronavirus-related lockdown and economic stimulus package, according to survey results published by market research group GfK. The score was forecast to rise moderately to -12 from June's initially estimated -18.9.

EU-US trade tensions and the IMF's slashing of its forecasts for global growth served to cap the upside to some extent.

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose 0.4 percent to 358.62 after tumbling 2.8 percent on Wednesday.

The German DAX rose over 1 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV rose 1.4 percent after Italy approved a decree offering state guarantees for a 6.3 billion euros to its Italian unit.

Consumer goods giant Unilever edged up slightly. The company announced its plans to change the name of Fair & Lovely brand, which is sold across Asia, in the next few months and said it would end references to 'whitening', 'lightening' or 'fairness'.

Deutsche Lufthansa shares jumped as much as 16 percent as the European Commission approved Germany's 6 billion euros recapitalization of the German airline.

Payments processor Wirecard AG plunged 13 percent. The company's management board has decided to file an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings.

Bayer AG edged up slightly after it agreed to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle thousands of U.S. lawsuits claiming that its widely used weedkiller Roundup caused cancer.

Royal Mail shares slumped 6.7 percent. The postal operator said it would cut around 2,000 management posts, or about 20 percent of the total, to help save costs.

BAE Systems rose over 1 percent. Sales for the half year are expected to be broadly stable year on year whilst half year profit is expected be approximately 15 percent lower than last year, the defense, security and aerospace firm said in a statement.

Outsourcing and services company Capita lost 4 percent after it warned of lower first-half revenue this year.

French food services and facilities management company Sodexo S.A advanced 1.5 percent. The company said today that following the recent talks it had with USPP debt holders, it has decided to exercise its right to reimburse its $1.6 billion outstanding debt to ensure independence of action.

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